Tips and tricks for moving to Sydney

By Laura Docherty, University of New South Wales, Australia

Sydney Harbour and Opera House

I have now been in Sydney for one week – and so much has happened already! I have begun to settle in by making some new friends, finally finding an apartment(!) and having my first lecture. After leaving my parents at Heathrow with a few teary goodbyes I had the 11.5 hour journey to Bangkok followed by a 9 hour flight to Sydney, so it’s safe to say I was exhausted when I arrived at my hostel. However, the view of Coogee beach from our window made up for it! I met up with a few girls from Manchester and went to do some touristy things on my first day; Sydney harbour bridge, the Opera House and the botanical gardens. There was also a massive list of admin-type things I had to get done on arrival, such as getting a new sim, opening a bank account, sorting out a tax number and getting my student card. I think I have been dealing fairly well with the move so far – so here are a few of my tips for moving alone to the other side of the world!

  1. Arrive a few days/weeks in advance so you have more time to explore, relax and most importantly, look for housing! That has certainly been the most challenging part about moving as we arrived here with no secure housing and have had to search for individual rooms in people’s apartments. I have luckily managed to find one after a week of searching, but a lot of my friends are still looking so arriving early is essential to minimise stress!
  2. Another housing tip: start looking online before you arrive using or Facebook so you can see what is on offer and determine your price range. Housing is expensive here! 
  3. Save as much money as possible before you arrive so you’re able to enjoy your first few weeks without money stress. I have already been able to book a trip to the Blue Mountains and can’t wait!
  4. Say yes to as much as you can – there are so many opportunities and beautiful places here so there’s always something to do! Personally my favourites so far have been watching the sunrise on Coogee beach, trying acai bowls, watching the England vs Australia women’s world cup match and walking the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk. 

I am sure as time goes on I will make a lot more mistakes and come up with a lot more advice, but at the moment I am just so excited to move into my own room and feel like I am really living here – not just on holiday!

Coogee beach – the view from the hostel!

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